Ultimate Guide to A Successful Yard Sale

Johna Medeiros
Published on February 7, 2017

Ultimate Guide to A Successful Yard Sale

Thinking of moving? Maybe selling your home?  Everyone always says to declutter first. But what do you do with all that stuff? Having a yard sale is a great way to get rid of that stuff, and make some extra cash in the process.  I know the first time we held a yard sale, it was a bit of a shock. I scoured the internet, and came up with some helpful tips, tricks, do’s and don’ts.


  • You need time to plan. Download my Free Ultimate Yard Sale Planner here.
  • Sell low. Pricing can be tricky. Price it too high, and no one will buy. Price too low, and you won’t make any money. The idea is to price it just a bit low. People are out looking for bargains.
  • Price everything. Buyers will get frustrated if nothing is marked, and might just walk away. Also, price things in increments of $.25. That way you won’t need a lot of small change, just quarters.
  • Borrow tables from friends and family. Display all your stuff at waist level so that people can look at things easily. If all your stuff is in boxes or on the ground, it will probably not catch anyone’s eye. You could also use an old door on two sawhorses.
  • Hang clothes up. No one wants to dig thru boxes of clothes.
  • Have good signs. Place them on the major roads, and then throughout your neighborhood. If people can’t find you, they won’t show up.
  • Watch out for the professionals. They will come early, and low ball everything. Don’t give in. Especially if they are your first customers.
  • Have change. At least a roll of quarters, $25 ones, and a few fives and tens.
  • Advertise bigger things on CraigsList before the sale. That way, you can price these things a little higher. If they don’t sell online, you can price them lower at your sale and you won’t feel like you could have gotten more.
  • Have grocery bags and newspaper on hand to make it easier to wrap breakables.
  • Keep valuable items where you can see them at all times to prevent theft.
  • Take a picture 3 hours before your sale ends, and post it on CraigsList saying that everything will be marked down, or free.
  • Single family sales are great, but multi-family sales are better. You will attract more buyers.
  • Clean the items before the sale. No wants to buy icky stuff.
  • Clean your yard before the sale. You wouldn’t shop at a filthy store, so make sure your yard is tidy.
  • Group your small stuff. Then offer 5 books for a $1. Or fill a small bag of Legos for $1. You get the idea.
  • Have an attraction piece. Maybe a large piece of furniture. Place it in front, and price it a little high. It will attract people, so you don’t want it to sell to quickly.
  • Put all of your best items in the front.
  • Greet your customers and be approachable. Ask them if they are looking for something specific. Don’t act like they are bothering you.
  • Be set up and ready on-time.
  • Have a freebie box.
  • Schedule your sale near the first of the month when people have more money.
  • Check the 10 day forecast.
  • Write “firm” on any items that are not negotiable.
  • Separate clothes according to size.
  • Use clothesline to display clothing.
  • Put cones in front of your driveway so no one tries to turn around in it.
  • Have electric outlets and extension cords for people to test electronic items.
  • Have a garbage can handy so people want litter your yard.
  • Keep your house locked at all times.
  • Keep your dog inside.
  • Keep your money safe at all times.
  • Have a calculator handy.
  • Say Thank You.

Things to Avoid

  • Don’t price your items too high.
  • Don’t sell broken stuff. And don’t say it works if it doesn’t. Karma’s a b*tch.
  • Don’t Sell dirty or smelly stuff.
  • Don’t have a messy yard sale. Rearrange things often to fill in gaps.
  • Don’t let people into your home to use the bathroom or test out an electronic item.
  • Don’t have emotional attachment to the items you are selling.
  • Don’t not advertise.
  • Don’t have your sale on a holiday weekend.
  • Don’t put your signs up until you are open for business.
  • Don’t expect to sell collectibles or antiques at a premium. People are looking for bargains.
  • Don’t take checks.
  • Don’t let a buyer intimidate you into lowering a price.

Sell This (Best Things to Sell)

  • Small appliances.
  • Extras or duplicates
  • Children’s toys and clothes in good condition

Not That (Worst Things to Sell)

  • Potentially offensive/adult only items. ‘Nuff said.
  • Sentimental items.
  • Antiques/collectibles. Try online sites instead.
  • Poor quality stuff.

With a little planning, you can make extra cash, and get rid of your clutter. I hope you found these tips for a successful yard sale helpful.

You can download my “Ultimate Yard Sale Planner” here. If has checklists, worksheets, a list of the best places to advertise, as well as printable signs for sorting all your stuff.


Want to know the value of your home?
Our professional staff will figure it out for you for FREE.